‘Diary of a Hurried 48 Hour Film Project Filmmaker’ by Erica Laxson

In just 48 hours over 100 teams flooded the DC area to produce their 2012 short films, and I am lucky to count myself among their numbers. My team is proud to be screening our debut work tomorrow night, along with dozens of other short films, at the AFI Silver Theater.

From start to finish, 48 Hour Film Project was a learning experience and we all grew as artists, though at the time it seemed like more of us would leave dead, than alive. After receiving our video prompts, we furiously brainstormed and hashed out a script by 3 in the morning. After just a few hours of sleep, our 8 person team hit the ground running and spent the day filming on location. In just an hour, we turned our local park into an idyllic comune in the woods and set out to film the best 4-7 minute short we could imagine.

The set. Photo courtesy of Erica Laxson.

Just one hour into filming, we were flanked by several members of the local police department as they questioned the presence of our ‘camp.’ Despite wearing bullet proof vests and safety gloves, the officers were cordial. Once they found out if was a film set – and not an Occupy event – they left us to our own devices, which we couldn’t help but hope was to the chagrin of whoever called 911.

Erica Laxson

Between the two days we filmed for nearly eight hours, both in rain and sunshine. Without the 48 hour limit, our drive to succeed would have faltered, but in the 11th hour, we prevailed. Instead of passing on a project that seemed insurmountable, my team buckled down and created the funniest thing I’ve ever had the pleasure of helping create.

All I can say is fingers crossed for ‘Team Creme Goulet!’

With just an hour to go before drop off, we hopped in the car, deciding to play the dangerous game of ‘burn on the run.’ Had we not loaded our film during transit, we could have ended up in the group of desperate filmmakers clustered around their laptop, watching the gates lock behind them. Though over 100 entered the contest of creativity, teamwork and endurance, only 77 groups beat the 48 hour clock.

Winners will be announced after the screening process is over. If you’re interested in catching a screening of any of the 48 Hour Film Project entries, screening run from Tuesday, May 8th to Friday May 11th. Tickets can be purchased here.

Congratulations to ALL the filmmakers who participated in this year’s competition of artist speed and on-the-fly creativity.

Information on The Washington, DC 48 Hour Film Project.

The 48 Hour Film Project website.


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